There, the throb. Gorge & swish. Fat then thin
Then beat, release. Repeat. Repeat. My fist
Creams the tan bag on contact; the bag makes its mark too.
Strike, wind, strike, wind, strike-wind-strike. I pulse
& the bag pulses. We, swinging at each other,
Bounce back until one of us drops off.
That which drives me into the driver’s seat,
Windows sealed, drives the volume high, thickest,
Fueling compression, pressing & unpressing.
They call it an equalizer, though I tip the large notes
Largest, going nowhere but down. We sink
With every pump farther [pause] farther [change track]
Dusk spills the long note of horizon, allowing me
Some relief from light. A speed bag pounds somewhere
Its own migraine, & I’m sure someone has said
Every song has a pulse, lives its own bass line,
Even when we take it out. Who in me needs
This throbbing, there, low in the back left quadrant?
Float me into dark, near naked.
Send my hips tilt-a-whirling, slo-mo,
Send the brownest Caribbean rum
& the roiling coke, the rolling I tried
Rocking in the gym with the lights
Missing. We were sixteen & sexified.
& my moves were no match.
So pour another now, pour me
A dark drink, pour the dark down
My back, pour me, mix me
With the dripping dark.
This is a baptism, a christening,
A water birth, a spell. With all this
Newness, we can choose
How we’re made, how we see
& make with language,
With vowels & verbs, with fingertips
Streaming thighs or triggers, the hips
Of another body resisting
& begging. We are dark
Undulation & adoration. We stir
Our own currents — our own moon
& sea — send them rolling into others.
Together, we turn the tide rogue.
Night Interrogates the Light Bulb
I blare my 40 watts up into the darkening
Vast warehouse of evening. A god
Lords over me, wide, unwieldy,
Firing questions from all the infinite
Points of light shoving their way
Into the fray. My bald face, pale
& emitting, weakens. What made you
Think to shine so hard? I flicker for once.
Why do you swivel toward the many
Infinitesimals? I learn the lifeblood
Of second-guessing. You, too, are a speck,
One among the throngs. All you need
Is a pinprick of doubt. Never imagined
Quieting the light could mean as much as
Or more than illumination. I am still here, lit,
Liminal, straddling my past of blinding
& my now — comfort disrupted
For a buzzless moment in a field
Of questions, everything thriving in night,
Darkness’s broad & graceful arm
Around my shoulder.